The City of Lugano and the Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana (SUPSI), in the context of Lugano Living Lab, offer a training course dedicated to students and students of elementary schools in Lugano called “TAC”: Technology Environment and Skills. The aim is to encourage the development of skills in the collection and interpretation of environmental data and in teaching, with the help of digital technologies.The experimental programme aims to bring children and citizens in an original and playful way to the use of digital technologies to increase environmental awareness and encourage the adoption of sustainable and responsible behaviour.
On 5 October 2020 the project was presented to the public on the occasion of the event”Waiting for Digital Days 2020″ during which a workshop open to the citizens of Lugano was held. Interested parties who announced themselves through the appropriate form by 30 September 2020 were part of a first experimental phase of the project, contributing to the collection of environmental data of the City of Lugano such as temperature, humidity, air quality, noise and brightness (for this first meeting places were limited).
Digital education is closely linked to environmental education: it is not possible to talk about climate or environment today without the acquisition and analysis of digital data and at the same time the development of critical thinking in their interpretation. Technology is a very valuable ally for increasing awareness of environmental issues and fostering the adoption of sustainable behaviour. It is therefore essential to encourage young people and not, to the acquisition of specific skills to understand and analyze data and information, through an innovative teaching, based on a practical, inclusive, playful and collaborative approach.
The pilot educational program was created in collaboration with some primary school teachers of the School of Lugano and will be proposed during the school year 2020-2021 in their respective classes. The experimental program aims to introduce into the current primary school programs – dedicated to education and technology – the theme of digital training and environmental sensitivity. The aim is to provide students with the tools to read and interpret the data and information generated by environmental sensors, thus encouraging knowledge of the territory and the adoption of more conscious and sustainable choices at an individual level.
At the same time, thanks to the workshop on October 5th, interested citizens who announced themselves using the form were also able to participate and actively contribute to the collection of environmental data.
The TAC project stems from the will of the City of Lugano, coordinated by the urban laboratory Lugano Living Lab, in the context of the implementation of the Development Lines 2018-2028 which include – among its various objectives – the City of Lugano engaged in the implementation of concrete projects aimed at raising awareness of citizens on digital and environmental issues.
The skills of the territory – represented by the Visual Culture Laboratory and the Fablab of the Building and Design Environment Department SUPSI – have made it possible to design this ambitious initiative. Combining Open Innovation, digital fabrication, playful educational experience design and participatory design, the two workshops worked to co-create a digital ecosystem consisting of sensor kits connected to an interactive web map.
This technological challenge has seen the collaboration with two companies such as Swisscom and Arduino, which have provided the communication infrastructure to develop the kits using the Lora network, the low-power network that facilitates the implementation of devices connected to the Internet.
The themes and contents of the project will be introduced to the population through events and activities promoted by Lugano Living Lab. The project was presented at the workshop on 5 October and subsequently during some public meetings dedicated to the theme, scheduled for 2021.